This is true, but it’s probably fair to say that he’s generally less problematic than a lot of MCs of his generation.
Oh absolutely, I do admit to feeling very conflicted about the whole thing. I think the old line about ‘it’s ok to enjoy things that are problematic as long as you are aware of ways in which they are problematic/challenge the underlying attitudes’ is probably helpful but I don’t think there’s an easy solution to this wrt art.
So the reason why MF Doom is so special to me personally is because he represented a gateway into Hip Hop for me.
Like I guess a lot of people, my music tastes were fairly set by the end of my teens/start of my twenties and those tastes almost entirely ran to rock/guitar, with maybe a cheeky side-order of electronica. I think in my mind all hip hop was about affluence, showing off how thick your gold chain was etc etc and that left me entirely cold. It wasn’t the kind of music I would listen to and I enjoyed wallowing in my own ignorance.
I have no idea now what prompted me to listen to ‘Born Like This’ (maybe I read about it in The Wire? Seems unlikely now but that is when I was reading the Wire so maybe? Or Plan B?) but it blew me away (and it’s not even his best as I now realise!) I realised that not all Hip Hop is about bling and that here was a rich vein of music I had never experienced before full of very dry humour, character creation, creative vocal and instrumental sample use. It really opened my eyes to a whole new musical world and I am so glad it did.
Nails everything I came to say here. Had as good a run as anyone ever between that period, as well as a very solid early career with KMD and then Operation Doomsday.
He has his reasons, but everything since has been a constant disappointment. 8 years since his last proper album, 11 years since the last decent one, maybe 15 years since the last fully realised project. Empty promises when it comes to new records. Legendarily dodgy live sets. Most his features these days are lazy by his standards.
Find it hard to give more than a 4/5, despite being one of the very best at the top of his game. Would have been as easy a 5 as they come in 2006.
And remember ALL CAPS when you spell a man’s name
Accordion was my personal intro to him, think I’d just never heard a beat using such unusual instrumentation before
Don’t know anything beyond Madvillainy, which I absolutely love. Probably enough to get a 4 alone.
Slightly leftfield choice for HGATR, I like it.
One of the funniest gig experiences ever was him saying let’s turn this shit up and him turning the volume up on his MacBook that was running the backing tape and the projections so the volume up thing was on the screen behind him.
Oh, shoot, the goose is loose
So wild you couldn’t chase it down with straight fruit juice
Frown like the first time you taste cous cous Stash the deuce deuce, troops asking truce, truce
Don’t like him anywhere near as much as my fellow hip-hop heads seem to. That kind of low-energy sounding flow needs to hit in a really specific way for me to be able to get onboard with it fully. I like him in a guest spot as someone to bounce off of and give some sort of sonic dynamism to a track but don’t think I’ve ever really vibed with a full album of his (Madvillainy aside)
Don’t think I’d clocked how close all those are together. I only really got in to him the last few years and it just hadn’t twigged. What a run
Feels like a 4.
Not much to add except i really like the Four Tet remix LP and also the Special Herbs releases (well the first 2 volumes, I haven’t listened beyond that).
I’ve never quite gotten to stage where I’d list him as one of my fav of all time and unfortunately a lot fo the stuff I’ve heard, which has been mostly more recent, has been dross. But Madvillainy is one of my fav hip hop records ever. But outside of that cant claim to be a big fan.
He has a good claim to be the worst live artist who will be featured in these, whether it actually is him showing up or not
This is what I love about his flow - it sounds utterly effortless. He begins a bar sounding like he just got out of bed and will then throw in some knotty little rhymes and change ups (at his best) without sounding like he’s breaking a sweat at all.
Yeah, I get the appeal, it’s where Earl Sweatshirt lays for me as well, there’s something about it combined with his register that just feels monotonous rather than low-energy but interesting to me.
5 for me. His best album is Operation: Doomsday!
It’s a minor return to form certainly. Some of his lines are great, although they’re not helped by the fact that they sound like they were recorded on someone’s voicemail.
Know nothing about him so abstaining. Will listen to a couple of albums though. Where should I start?